Food Forest Hoogerheide
In Hoogerheide (NL), a 2 hectare rationally designed food forest was implemented in winter 2018/19. The design has been made in the run of 2018 by The Forest Farmers for our client, the Foundation Voedselbosbouw Brabantse Wal. Aim of this project is showcasing the economic potential of a rational food forest for the production of nuts, fruit, soft fruit, berries and mushrooms.
The food forest system is based on 26 main and side crops and around 40 special crops. The main crops range from apple and plum to peach, pawpaw, pecan, walnut and heartnut over to currants and honeyberry. The special crops, which are excellent for restaurants and inspiration range from the Korean angelica tree that tastes like asparagus to Sichuan pepper, sugar maple and many more known and unknown specialities.
The farming system is designed to be pruned to stimulate soil organic matter build up, rejuvenate plants and increase photosynthesis rate. In total, some 5000 biomass trees such as poplar, birch, alder but also black locust and maple, alongside others have been planted. Biomass trees are found in designated rows between the production crops. The biomass trees fulfil several functions, as to protect the fruit and nut trees from strong wind, create a sheltered and moist microclimate, grow biomass on site which fertilizes the system, provide wildlife habitat, shelter and food. Through appropriate management the dynamic of forest ecosystems is mimicked which increases productivity.
Next to the intense young forest mimicry through biomass trees, a dense herbaceous layer of nitrogen fixing, nutrient accumulating herbs and perennials are part of the system.